Orchidectomy for testicular cancers
Testicular cancer is very uncommon to rare, accounting for just 1% of all cancers that occur in men. But even then, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 40. The majority of testicular cancers occur within this age group.
Testicular cancer is very uncommon in the elderly age group, but we do see them, and it can still occur at any age.
Testicular cancer is treatable, and the treatment is very highly effective, achieving cure in more than 95% of the cases when diagnosed in the early stages. It is one of the best outlook among all other cancers. Even when the cancer has spread beyond the testicle, the cure rates are still very high.
Depending on the type and stage of testicular cancer, you may receive treatment, or a combination of treatment as advised by the doctor.
The testicle should not be biopsied before the operation as ultrasound and clinical examination confirms the diagnosis with high surety, and biopsy may allow spread of the cancer outside the testicle. The doctor can advise on the plan of treatment.
Treatment almost always includes the surgical removal of the affected testicle (orchidectomy or orchiectomy), which does not usually affect fertility or the ability to have sex. Partial excision of the testicle is rarely needed and has very specific indications.
The doctor will advise you on sperm banking and testicular prosthesis.
In some cases, chemotherapy or, less commonly, radiotherapy may be used in the treatment of testicular cancers after removal of the testicle, based on the stage of the disease.
The first intervention and definitive treatment that is required is a radical orchidectomy, which is removal of the testicle. This is done by an incision made on the groin, done under anesthesia.
The second step will be to await for the pathology report, a week later, for which then staging will be done and a decision made whether you require further treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy, depending on the type of cancer and its stage.
Radical orchidectomy through a groin incision. Pics from BJUI Surgery Illustrated
When to see the doctor
See your doctor if you detect swelling or lumps in your testicles or groin area, or even any pain especially if these signs and symptoms last longer than two weeks.
Any suspicion of a testicular cancer needs an IMMEDIATE referral to the urologist and treatment must be started immediately to achieve cure. Spread of the cancer may occur very fast and can even reach stage 4 even within 4 weeks of diagnosis if treatment was not started promptly.